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Police vote up $34 million a year

Police will receive an extra $34 million funding in 2002-03 and $34.5 million in each of the next two years, Police Minister George Hawkins announced today.

The increase, on top of the $95 million provided over the last two years, takes the Police Vote from $847 million in 1999-2000 to $960.8 million for 2002-03, an increase of 11.8 per cent, Mr Hawkins said.

“Both operating and capital allocations have been calculated to ensure the organisation is back on an even keel, with appropriately paid staff supported by planned property and equipment replacement programmes.

“The success of this approach is reflected in excellent operational results, including burglary rates at a 20 year low, overall crime at a 13 year low, and the recent successful resolution of several high profile crimes.

The package directs about $1 million towards counter terrorism, $625,000 to youth initiatives and $2.5 million to address issues in Auckland districts,” Mr Hawkins said.

Significant progress had been made in the implementation of the Police’s counter terrorism capability, with additional or permanent staffing at six airports expected to be in place by the end of July.

New positions within the Office of the Commissioner relating to terrorism intelligence and investigation would shortly be advertised, Mr Hawkins said.

As well, advance visits setting up liaison officer positions in London and Washington had been completed, with successful candidates likely to be on the job in late July or August.

Recruitment of up to 60 non-sworn staff to the three Auckland Districts continued, following an initiative announced in April. This also included ongoing expenditure of $2.5 million for additional support for front-line police and a second Auckland radio channel.

The ability of the Police to reduce youth offending and violent crime would be enhanced by a further $625,000 a year over the next four years, Mr Hawkins said.

Police would work with the Crime Prevention Unit, which had received a corresponding injection of funds, to develop programmes directed at
youth and violence in up to five high crime areas including South Auckland and Auckland city.

Ends

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